Habré trial to start in next three months

22 February 2015 by Nathalie Magnien, N'Djamena (Chad)

Hissène Habré is due to face trial in Senegal within three months of the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) 13 February ruling that there is enough evidence against the former Chadian dictator to proceed. 

Mbacké Fall, prosecutor of the Extraordinary African Chambers (Photo: ForumChambresAfricaines.org)
Image caption: 
Mbacké Fall, prosecutor of the Extraordinary African Chambers (Photo: ForumChambresAfricaines.org)

The four Senegalese judges supported the prosecutor's final indictment and request to refer the case to the EAC trial chamber for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture committed during Habré's 1982-1990 regime [IJT-175].  The trial is now set to open in the next three months, with the next step being to select three judges to hear the case.

“Getting Habré to court is a big victory for justice,” said Jacqueline Moudeïna, the victims’ lawyer and president of the Chadian rights watchdog ATPDH. Human Rights Watch’s Reed Brody, who has followed the case for years, said a fair trial for Habré would show “that courts in Africa can be empowered to provide justice for African victims of crimes committed in Africa”.

Ginette Ngarbaye, who was pregnant when she was arrested in 1985 and gave birth in prison, has seen all the twists and turns in the 15-year battle to get Habré to trial. “Our fight for justice was not useless. I can't help thinking of all those who died,” she told IJT.

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